the paraphrase of a quail egg

After Inspecting Brassaï’s Graffiti

At Musée d’Art Moderne
I notice the construct of silhouetted
stick figures juxtaposed above a door;
one’s triangular body tells me
to go into a different salle. There,
I find another version of graffiti
on the door in front of me as I sit down.
This is not art someone has written.
My bladder agrees, but against this angst
and all treachery of the world’s turmoil
another has revolted: Yes it is—
Art is what you make of it. Such words
delight me at first; they affect such openness,
pretend pluralism, and compel acceptance
of every sapling of discontent that arises
at seeing paint spread like entrails on the floor.
What you make of it . . . as if anyone could
wake and slither into anarchy and come out
with the paraphrase of a quail egg. I go out
and back to the exhibits, back to the violence
and spectacle of color and form. Seeking out
other dimensions, I walk into a room wrapped
in giant spools of gray, industrial felt.
At the end of one hall, a sculpture in straw
creates the illusion of an airplane; a thousand
pairs of scissors spear its shape. Art is
what you make of it? I need to go back:
digging into my bag and finding a pen
I scratch the last two words into blackness.

The poem is featured in Reconnaissance, published by Homebound Publications. For a signed copy (and free shipping), click the side menu and find “Purchase Signed Copies.”

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The Rothko Conundrum

20170109_123104Many thanks to a little boy named Ezra (and his expert crocodile tears) and Mark Rothko for filling my time at AAA as I waited to get my new 44-year-old license. I have to admit that it felt a little awkward giving up on Lucretius, who got me through a registration renewal at the DMV last year. But Rothko’s The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art gave me encouragement

“The Truth of Art is foremost. . . . This artistic conscience, which is composed of present reason and memory, this morality intrinsic to the generic logic of art itself, is inescapable” (“The Artist’s Dilemma,” chapter 1)

Thus, musings from Reconnaissance:
The Rothko Conundrum
the Phillips Collection
binary hypothesis
recognizable. a door
two mirrors. eight cauldrons
a house with its roof
green wishing away a marooned horizon

a blood puddle laying
on the upturned walkway
the puddle pretending a dance
the mirror between

an upside-down paragraph
hapless bronze fire
waking the vertical

bottle glass wishing away a citrus horizon
unfinished books. the last pieces
of paper left on the floor
perpendicular mischief

lost fish music. horizontal longing. orange and red on red
wishing away a missing horizon
lost in watertight cathedral windows
burdenless aches. plurality

the singular capture of loss
knowing or not knowing the ending

the house next door
a second window, serenity
ochre hallelujahs caught
on the windowsill
kneeling inside emptiness
sore fences. twice pink horizon

where seraphs go
why envelopes open
quadrilaterally quiet
five times red